So to forgive is divine. Why is it so hard then?

Posted by Ria, 11 Jun 08

"Ultimately, what inspires us to forgive is more often selfishness than anything else. It hurts too much to stay angry and it becomes self-destructive to hold back forgiveness. We forgive for the sake of love; we just sometimes get stuck on the way there." - Dr. Laura Berman, Berman Center, Chicago

Fighting with the people we love is hurtful … and it hurts more to stay angry. And yet we still do it. Why do people hold grudges against their partners and spouses? Is your willingness to forgive your partner based entirely on the crime (e.g. cheating spouse)? Or should we shift the blame on family again? Do you think being raised in a family where forgiveness was rare and grudges were long makes us carry these traditions to our adult lives?

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16 responses to "So to forgive is divine. Why is it so hard then?"

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  1.   Member says:
    Posted: 29 May 10

    what do i do forgive my sis even tho she has not changed ??

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  2.   Member says:
    Posted: 29 May 10

    i've been living with it for the past 30yrs , at first i chose to ignore it even though people were warning me about a certain family member. i guess i did not want to believe someone so close could want to intentionally hurt me. but i cant be ignorant any longer but the problem with trying to confront this person only encourages her to do it more. its like she feeds of that anger so i cant get caught in her game but it is very hard to ignore it any longer.it a struggle for me every day and even causes me depression because i love her. and she is the only one i have left. but she puts on a act even to the point of crocodile tears especially when people are around and makes me look like the heartless one

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  3.   Bellara says:
    Posted: 28 Apr 10

    snazzybella spoke my mind the ability to forgive has nothing to do with past experience. for example (true story): a man abandoned his wife & two sons because he'd rather wallow in liquor than support his family. 1 son grew up & became a doctor, the other became a drunk. when asked why they were the way they were now, the doctor said: my father was a drunk so i swore never to be like him. the other responded by saying: by father was a drunk so am just following his footstep. this means that you can either learn from a situation or engage in the situation itself. some people find it hard to forgive becase they are callous, some people are too sensitive, some people bear grudges like its a hobby while at the same time, some people forgive the memory continues to linger in the minds.

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  4.   Snazzybella says:
    Posted: 15 Feb 10

    Forgiving is easy. Letting go is not. When you have been hurt, u become wary and that is harder to lay down.

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  5.   tonydevin says:
    Posted: 27 Mar 09

    When I found my ex-wife and so called friend had a fling on me I simply could not forgive them both. I eventually came to forgive her but told her I could never forget. Reason being I was in love with my family and found that they plotted to foul around. Then she told me I love you but not in love with you. Six years later I am all the better but can remember it as if it happened yesterday. She is more angry today then in the past because she is doing no better and I have risen to higher heights god truly is good all the time and he puts nothing on us we cant handle. I never missed a child support payment and never intend too, what is more amazing and pleasurabl is the love my girls have for their dad. Not even their mom can destroy that . Keep it moving people reach high you are bound to find happiness

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  6.   homesteader says:
    Posted: 06 Feb 09

    To each of you who has Loved only one from Virginity till Death do you part , May God Bless . Other than that I could imagine that he or she / who is without sin - should Throw the first stone . Otherwise I was once told as a Baker of bread that you will never miss a slice off a cut loaf .

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  7.   Pia65 says:
    Posted: 09 Sep 08

    Forgive the offender. By doing so it releases you for the offensive of what they have done. Leave it in the past....not an easy thing to do, but its worth doing...Wish them well. Everyones deserves a second chance...after that...if they continue to offend you then...still forgive them and walk away knowing you did the best you could, but they are stuck in a downward spiral of their own doing. My late Grandma use to say: "The past is a coffin to be buried and forgotten. The future is unknown. The present is a gift where we have some control over our paths as we navigate into the future"....."So, no matter what you decide to do pray about it first. Feel peace about it and move on." I'm sure there is a better saying out there, but for me Granda's will do.

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  8. Posted: 21 Jun 08

    wow hype411! great response! I too struggle with forgiveness - if someone hurts me, it takes a while for me "to forgive and forget", especially if I did nothing to deserve the hurt. I know that holding on to the hurt/pain/anger could be sabotaging my joy and I have been told over and over again that "time heals all things" - BUT experience and rationale quickly reveal that this isn't always the case. The imperfect human being that is ME harbors the hurt and the unresolved conflicts and it eats me up or at times makes the situation even worse. This year, I vowed to reach out and forgive those that hurt me and seek forgiveness from those that I had hurt. The responses were mixed - to some it was a welcome relief to others..well..let's just say that I was the last person they wanted to talk to. But I made the first step and it's really not up to me anymore. My goal is to try and forgive freely, joyfully, without reservation, without favoritism and without limit - again easier said than done but I want to be able to do that. That doesn't mean that I have to let these people back into my life or expect the same from those that I have hurt - but I really do believe that when we forgive, we are free..and to me..that freedom, that joy, that peace of mind is priceless.

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  9.   fkoi says:
    Posted: 19 Jun 08

    This is really a good string. I know that when I am upset, there is something wrong with me. I may have been wronged, but I own my reactions. That doesn't mean that I have to put myself in the same position time and time again to be hurt the same way. It does mean that I can forgive and move on. When I do that I am im-proving myself. Harboring a grudge is only poisoning me.

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  10.   gina81 says:
    Posted: 19 Jun 08

    Forgiving is very important to me. I can't imagine living my life freely knowing that i,m holding a grudge on someone. Its not easy but it really helps you move on. If you learn to forgive then you can also learn to let go. If you don't forgive its like you will be living your whole life in that angry moment. I,m a forgiving person

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  11.   Nandi says:
    Posted: 19 Jun 08

    hype411...loved your post! Forgiveness can be hard but I have learn to accept humility as part of my spiritual growth...So, yes I can forgive..I find that forgiveness is the easy, the hard part is learning to respect and trust that person and the reality is I maynot ever or we may not ever achieve that level of respect and trust...So the relationship has change and I think that is why forgiveness is so hard for some, because you mourn that part of relationship with that person, you maynot never have it again.. I rather forgive, accept the hurt, learn from it, grow from it and move on... However, I disagree with the article that forgiveness is for "selfish reasons...I do not forgive so I can feel better about being betrayed or hurt by others..I forgive, because I have realized that somethings that may happen to you that doesn't seem fair, right etc...However, perhaps it happened to put you on a better path, to make a better you..So forgive them and thank them for a lesson well taught...

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  12.   MsMillie says:
    Posted: 15 Jun 08

    I have learned that forgiveness is not for the other person, it's for ME. Holding grudges serves no purpose. I won't push THIS good man away because THAT one hurt me in the past. I won't decide that THIS person is not trustworthy because THAT so-called friend disappointed me. I will take every individual at face value and not let those who don't love me define the way I live my life or love myself or others. For they are the ones who will have to look at themselves in the mirror and deal with how they feel about what they see. Hate is a poison that will numb your heart and you won't feel the love of God, family, friends or that special someone anymore. And your world will become a cold, lonely place. And though I may not know you, I would not like to see that happen to you. Know God...Know Peace No God...No Peace

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  13.   hype411 says:
    Posted: 14 Jun 08

    Forgiveness the question for all the ages of mankind!!! What we understand from the world around us is based on our interaction with that world. Everything from family to religion or our spiritual perceptions create our reality. The important thing is how we feel in the moment. Do I feel just in finding forgiveness for the person that harmed me? Let begin by look at forgiveness on many levels. First, how do you define forgiveness? This is important as it gives more value and meaning to the healing process. The important thing to remember is that there is no right answer and it is what works for you. A statement I read once but do not remember the source. If I choose not to forgive those who have done me wrong then I am at a standstill in my life. I can relate to this as I have hung on to grudges with family, and ex girlfriends. From my experiences I have let these events hold me back from loving fully. As time has passed these grudges have deeply rooted themselves and have manifested my alienation with others in my life. So now I am at a standstill not growing. The only person I have hurt is me. Even though I have accomplished a lot with regards to education and bettering myself but my spirituality is at a standstill. The love department is a distant last in my priorities. What do I long for? For the other person to acknowledge their wrongs so that we may help the healing process. In some cases with ex girl friends this does not have to be communicated with but more so family. Family has the greatest impact on how we relate to the world. What I am coming to understand is that it is important to forgive myself for the things that I allowed to happen to me. It is important to take responsibility for my actions as I realize regardless of the situation I have contributed to the event in some manner. When we can move past the grudges and open the doors to communication we see that everything is forgivable. This does not mean that that you need to have this person involved in your life. However, if we love them then we find away to keep them in our lives and find away to minimize any future events. Love is another subject and forgiveness is closely related to this topic. But remember love can be a double edged sword if we allow it to cut us. This only leads to more questions in how do we protect ourselves when love can make us so vulnerable? Why is forgiveness so important? It helps us heal the past. It can heal nations, races, different faiths to move forward to a new era in mankind. This all starts on a very basic level of learning to forgive your self then moving to forgive others. So I struggle with the act of forgiving for many reasons. However, I persist to find forgiveness even if it is the hardest things to do at times. Because if we cannot find forgiveness with our families and friends then how can we expect for nations, races, to find forgiveness with one another. Then we are in danger of repeating horrific events like Rwanda. How can we move past the tragedies in human history if we do not find forgiveness on a basic level? Forgiveness is also linked to our perceptions of spirituality. When we understand that this life time is not our only destination then we can begin to see the bigger picture. This is another conversation and for most a very controversial one. I leave you with this old Irish proverb. Often a man has cut a rod to beat himself? Later

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  14. Posted: 12 Jun 08

    Sadly I feel the ability to forgive, or not is often dependent upon a past trauma that involved a crushing betrayal, that has not yet been resolved. Now, this can still be within yourself, and have nothing to do with the person that hurt you anymore. Meaning the one that hurt you has probably moved on, and forgotten about it, but you choose to hold on to the pain. You tuck it away somewhere in your soul, only for it to come back in different scenarios again and again. Such is the danger of holding on to such things. It can cloud your ability to rationalize within a relationship that is completely different from the past ones you've been in. When the person is lied to, or betrayed in some way, the incident reopens a wound that not yet been healed. Think about it...have you ever had someone do something to you within the realm of a past hurt, and before you even think of it as a separate incident, you find yourself saying "there's no way I'm letting him/her put me through this mess again." You're immediate response it to run away, and this has probably happened more than once. This cycle can go on forever, unless you put a stop to it once and for all. How you do that, is up to you, but I feel to stop that cycle can be nothing but beneficial in the end. Of course this is easier said than done, for we're only human, and our hearts and minds tend to take a while to let go of such things. It's a trying journey nonetheless, but a worthwhile one. (smile) There's nothing wrong with forgiving someone, than moving on. As long as you do that completely, it can only help to unburden you. Bottom line.....to forgive is a choice, but take my advice, to hold a grudge can often do more damage to you, than it does to the one you're holding the grudge against. Peace People,,

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  15.   mossimo says:
    Posted: 11 Jun 08

    Forgiving is difficult at times but forgetting it is the really hard part to me and the most important part. If I can't to that its impossible to move on.

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  16. Posted: 11 Jun 08

    Alright! no one seems to want to tackle this so let me give it a try :)! My willingness to forgive is 100% based on the crime! I am sure that I will get alot of heat for this - but there are certain things that I think one is allowed to hold a grudge/hate. E.G. Any person (M/F) that dares to cheat on their partner should be taken to the nearest shooting range and hunted for sport - It is the most despicable thing that you could ever do to a person that you claim to love - and so in my book it is neatly filed under "shoot to kill/cannot forgive crimes". It has happened to me and to be honest with you, I am glad that I allowed myself to get angry, hate, envision of him burning in hell, choking on ham you name it.. I killed him in my head over and over and I do not have one bit of remorse! My family (including extended family) have had issues - as any other family does. I have an uncle and aunt who have not spoken in 13 years and that is just the way it is. My mother is pretty forgiving - my Dad is what I would call "tolerant". I don't think this has affected the way I forgive/don't forgive. I am my own person - I hold on to grudges (if they are well deserved) and whenever I am ready to let go, I do it my way and at my own time.

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